Home » Currency 101 » Case study » Holiday home finances: reducing the risk of volatile exchange rates

Janet Lowe is soon coming up to celebrating her 18th year as a property owner in France. She first bought her home in the peaceful Minervios as a holiday let. Now, it’s enjoyed just by her family as a holiday retreat. We spoke to her about her experiences as a holiday-home owner in France – and how Smart Currency Exchange has helped her control the financial risk of sending money between the UK and France.

Control the financial risk of sending money by using Smart Currency, like Janet.

Buying a second home in rural France

Tell us a little about your home – when did you buy and what sort of property is it?

Funnily enough, we were over there this time 18 years ago, viewing properties – it all went through in the September. Back then, it was very different: we just had notices scribbled in estate agents’.

It’s a three-bedroom property in the Minervois region, where the Minervois wine comes from. We’ve about equidistant from Carcassone and Narbonne.

Sounds like a fantastic location. Do you spend a lot of your time over there?

Yes, we do. It was originally a holiday let and then we had a long-term tenant. But, now it’s just for family – our children enjoy it too.

We haven’t been there so much this year because we’ve been on holiday to Austria and Germany, but we visit normally three or four times a year and spend about four weeks at a time there.

My friend said to me that I should use Smart for sending my money. So, I tried it out and it worked really well!

Managing finances with a holiday home

You’ve been transferring money through Smart Currency Exchange for around 12 months now. How did you first hear about the business?

Our neighbours in the UK – she’s French and he’s English – bought a home in the Dordogne. They decided to go and live over there full time when they retired. She said to me that I should use Smart for sending my money. I thought to myself, “oh no, they won’t be interested in my amounts, just to pay bills and so on – it’ll only be for very big sums.” My friend told me that that wasn’t the case. So, I did try it out and it worked really well!

So how were you doing your currency transfers before?

Before Smart Currency, we used to just go to the travel agent and get some money to pay into our accounts. Then our friend recommended you – and it’s so much easier than carrying all that cash anyway.

Mitigating risk in currency transfer

Having a second home means you need to send money relatively regularly, whether for living expenses, taxes or bills. What concerns did you have about the process before working with Smart?

The exchange rate is a concern. We’ve been so used to it going up and down and not being very good.

My biggest worry, however, was trusting the internet. That was why it’s so useful having a named personal trader, Mark. I know I have someone I can trust.

The exchange rate is a concern. We’ve been so used to it going up and down and not being very good.

If you were starting this process again now, would you do anything differently?

Oh, if we were going to buy a house… Obviously, I’m a lot wiser now to the process that I’ve done it once, and I’d definitely use Smart Currency. It’s so useful to have all that information together in one place.

If you’ve bought a home abroad but are worried about making regular transfers overseas, at Smart Currency Exchange, we provide all clients with a named personal trader. They’ll stay with you throughout the process, helping to reduce the risk of costly drops or rises in the exchange rate.

Find out our expert advice for property buyers and owners on topics including currency exchanges and Brexit from our detailed guides. You can also subscribe to our daily market update for free news and analysis of the foreign exchange markets, without the business jargon.

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